Interacting with the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying on Social Media

Objective

This notice has been written to explain how the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying (OCL) interacts with the public on social media platforms.

Background

The Office was established in July 2008 under the Lobbying Act to support the Commissioner of Lobbying. The Commissioner is an independent Agent of Parliament, appointed by both houses of Parliament, for a term of seven years.

The purpose of the Lobbying Act is to ensure transparency and accountability in the lobbying of federal public office holders in order to increase Canadians’ confidence in the integrity of government decision-making.

The Commissioner's mandate is threefold:

  • maintaining the Registry of Lobbyists, which contains and makes public the registration information disclosed by lobbyists;
  • developing and implementing educational programs to foster public awareness of the requirements of the Lobbying Act; and
  • conducting reviews and investigations to ensure compliance with the Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct.

The Commissioner reports annually to both houses of Parliament. Reports on Investigation conducted in relation to the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct are tabled in Parliament as they are completed.

Participation in Social Media

In accordance with the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity, the Office may use social media channels and Web 2.0 tools. The objective of these efforts is for the Office to provide timely, accurate, clear and objective information about its policies, programs, services and initiatives in a way that meets its stakeholders’ needs.

This page explains the rationale and protocols for the Office’s participation in social media accounts and channels, namely Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

The choice to use a particular social media channel or Web 2.0 tool is driven by the Office's objectives and needs. All accounts and channels are managed by the Office.

The Office’s Policy

The Office’s communication in social media channels should not be considered as the authoritative source of new policy or guidance on its services and programs. Any change or evolution in any official Office position, guidance, interpretation, investigation or audit will be communicated through more traditional channels, such as official publications, speeches, media releases, statements to the traditional media, and the Office’s website.

Content and Frequency

The Office uses its social media accounts as another method of sharing the content posted on its website and interacting with stakeholders. By following the Office’s social media accounts, users can expect to see information about the programs and services it provides.

The Office may remove content which is out-dated, incorrect or restricted in time by licensing agreements. The Office apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

Accounts and channels will be updated and monitored during office hours (between 09h00 and 17h00 Eastern Time). Third-party social media services may occasionally be unavailable and OCL apologizes in advance for any inconvenience.

The Office understands that the Web is a 24/7 medium and comments are welcome at any time.

Comments and Interaction

When comments are enabled on the Office’s social media accounts, the Office will read them and participate in discussions when appropriate. The Office asks that comments be relevant and respectful and reserves the right to delete comments that violate this notice. Comments on the Office’s YouTube account have not been enabled. Users may be blocked and reported to prevent further inappropriate comments.

The Office cannot engage in issues of party politics or answer questions that break the rules of this notice. The Office welcomes all questions, comments, feedback, support, and ideas.

The Office will not tolerate comments that are offensive to an individual or an organization, rude in tone, or abusive. It does not discriminate against any views, but reserves the right to refuse, edit or remove any of the following:

  • Comments contrary to the principles of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, slanderous, insulting, or life-threatening messages
  • Serious, unproven, unsupported, or inaccurate accusations against individuals or organizations
  • Abusive, aggressive, coarse, explicit, vulgar, violent, obscene, or pornographic comments
  • Comments that encourage or suggest illegal activity
  • Messages where the sender is not the author (nor the copyright holder, if applicable), and/or posted anonymously or by robot accounts
  • Announcements, solicitations, advertisements, or endorsements of any financial, political, labour, commercial or non-governmental organizations and agencies
  • Attempts to defame or defraud any individual, group or agency
  • Announcements from labour or political organizations
  • Messages written in a language other than English or French
  • Repetitive posts copied and pasted by multiple users
  • Unintelligible or irrelevant messages

Please be respectful and make sure your comments are relevant. If you have any questions about our commenting and service standards, or how they are applied, please contact OCL at: questionslobbying@lobbycanada.gc.ca.

Anyone acting contrary to these rules may be temporarily or permanently excluded from the Office’s comment areas on its social media accounts and channels.

Endorsements

The Office’s decision to “follow,” “friend,” or “subscribe” does not imply endorsement of another social media account, channel, page or site. Links will be based on their relevance to departmental programs, policies and services and perceived usefulness to the public.

The appearance of a user as a “follower,” “friend,” or “subscriber” of the Office’s account does not imply endorsement of any kind by the Office. The Office will take steps to remove or block “followers,” “friends” or “subscribers” when they violate its interaction policy.

Links to Other Websites and Ads

The Office’s social media accounts may post or display links or ads for websites that are not under its control.

Links to non-Government of Canada websites are provided solely for the convenience of users. The Office is not responsible for the content on these other websites. The Office does not offer any guarantee in that regard, nor does it endorse the websites and their content.

Users should be aware that some links may direct users to sites of organizations or other entities that are not subject to the Official Languages Act and that these sources may not available both official languages.

Official Languages

Many social media platforms have multiple language options and provide instructions on how to set your preferences.

English and French are the official languages of Canada for communications and services from Federal Government to the public. Members of the public have the right to communicate with and receive services from the Government of Canada in either English or French.

Content will be posted simultaneously in both official languages on all accounts, channels and pages. When comment features are enabled, users are encouraged to respond in the official language of their choice. Comments, video responses, and questions that require a response will be answered in the official language of origin.

Privacy

The Office's social media accounts and channels are not hosted on its website. These accounts and channels serve as an extension of the Office's presence on the Web. Users are encouraged to read the privacy policy of all service providers.

Users should not share personal information, such as Social Insurance Numbers, home addresses, telephone numbers, or photographs of identifiable individuals.